Short Term Rental SEO in 2024: What Landlords Need To Know

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Do you have a home that you rent out for short-term stays? If so, you already know that the short-term rental is flooded. “House hackers” and fans of passive income have opened up their homes thanks to platforms like Airbnb. It’s a booming industry—not to mention an incredibly competitive one. 

If you want to get regular visitors, you don’t just need a good location. You also need to have a good marketing plan. That’s where short term rental SEO comes into play, but what does this actually mean? We have the full scoop. 

What is short term rental SEO?

Short term rental SEO is search engine optimization that helps landlords rent out their short term rentals. This can include putting their rentals on the right platforms, adding website keywords that help crawlers find your rental’s page, and also getting backlinks to your rental’s site. 

Simply put, it’s a way to use search engine optimization to make your rental easier to find online. 

How to optimize your property listing

Optimizing your site isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. It requires a lot of work that starts with keywords, branches off into backlinks, and can also include visual photo optimization. 

Keyword optimization

Keywords are what people use to find your short-term rentals online. When they search for places to rent, they will use descriptors that match your rental. Keyword optimization is the use of adding keywords to your written and visual content so that crawlers can find it and return it as a search result. 

How can you find high-value, low-competition keywords?

In most cases, the best way to get those high-value keywords is to focus on the amenities your rental has as well as the location. Hyperlocal SEO is what this is called. Choosing keywords like your neighborhood, local events, or even optimizing for things like “rentals near Subway A” can all help you out. 

Voice search optimization for short-term rentals

Voice Search in 2024, via Localleap

VSO is a form of search optimization that is geared towards people who are searching using voice command searches. In 2024, over 8 billion voice searches are going to be made using assistants like Cortana and Siri. 

The way to optimize for voice searches is actually quite simple. It’s about optimizing for keyword strings that are slightly more conversational, or even questions. Instead of using “hotels near me cheap,” you would optimize for “how do I rent a room for a week near NYC?”

Visual search optimization for short-term rentals

Did you know that people tend to search for rentals via a reverse image search? Using your keywords as part of your image’s name can help you get more leads to your website. This is doubly true if you have an active social media campaign for multiple short-term rentals. 

Image search via Semrush

This is also known as image optimization. Google, as a search engine, is capable of telling high-quality images versus low-quality ones. Knowing this, you should aim for high-quality, flattering photos that showcase your rental well. 

Posting those photos on your own website as well as the rental platforms you use is the best way to optimize your images.

Hyper-local SEO

When people do short-term rentals, they do them because they want to visit a specific location for a short period of time. This is where hyper-local SEO comes into play. This form of SEO involves creating content that has keywords related to your city, street, local neighborhood, local events and attractions. 

Examples of blog post titles for hyper-local SEO include:

  • “The 10 Best Restaurants Near SoHo”
  • “How to Prepare For Alpine’s Octoberfest”
  • “5 Best Ski Slopes Near Aspen”
  • “What To Know About Kansas City’s Christmas Festival”
  • “The Closest Accommodations To The San Francisco Night Market”

Mobile responsiveness and user experience

Did you know that Google prioritizes sites that have fast loading times and mobile responsive layouts? It’s true. This often requires a little help from a professional programmer, since heavy coding is involved.

You can do the basics by adding CSS tags to your HTML on every page. This site offers a quick run-through of the HTML requirements. Fast-loading pages are a must here! Studies show that the average speed of a top-ranking Google pace is 1.65 seconds. That’s by design, so aim for speed.

Engaging content for SEO

In the world of SEO, content is king. It has been king, and it always will be king.

The best content that you can create is content that offers true value to your travelers while also catering to the need for search engine discovery. 

Content for short-term rental SEO can include things like apartment layouts, important notices about local trash pickup, an FAQ sheet related to your rental, or even a guide to public transit. A good rule of thumb is that you want to make content that gives people all they need to know to maximize their time at your rental.

Blog posts are the most common way to create content, but don’t forget about other forms. User-generated content on social media matters, as does video content for platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Bali Resort Review Youtube video

How to leverage reviews and testimonials for a positive SEO impact

Did you know what short-term rental SEO often includes review and testimonial management? It’s true. Google and other search engines are now gearing themselves to promote rentals that have top reviews. 

Strategies for encouraging and managing positive reviews

There are several ways to get people to review your place:

  1. Offer a discount or bonus if they leave a good review on Google Places, TripAdvisor, Expedia, or Airbnb. Asking is always key. Most people will do it if you ask. 
  2. Thank them and respond to their reviews as they come. If it’s a negative review, ask what you could have done better. 
  3. Flag reviews that you believe are fraudulent. Some “renters” never really rent a venue, but post negative reviews. If you feel a review has been fraudulent, then you can usually contact the review site to address it. 
  4. Encourage them to tag your rental in social media posts. Having an Instagram-worthy view can really help here, but even offering incentives via gift cards can make a difference.

Showcasing social proof

People are very susceptible to the “bandwagon” effect. If they see a bunch of people using a venue, then they will want to rent that venue, too. Posting positive reviews to social media and keeping up on review sites is the easiest way to make this happen.

Social proof via Tripadvisor

Flaunt sustainability

“Sustainable” is the new buzzword in hospitality. If you flaunt your sustainability to the right people, it can easily get word of mouth going. Many travelers prioritize sustainable accommodations, so optimizing for this keyword can help immensely.

Tracking your short-term rental SEO using tools of the trade

In order to track your SEO work, you need to do a site audit using tools of the trade. Site audits act as checkups for a site, and they offer insights on everything from link building to site speed to keyword research. 

A good rule of thumb is that you should use SEO audits at least once a month. Good tools for this include Yoast, SurferSEO, and Ahrefs. Each site (and plugin) will have its own way of auditing your work, so it’s best to get a little help…

Ask the pros for assistance

SEO is never easy, whether it’s local SEO or something a lot broader. If you have a short-term rental, you should consider calling a professional to help guide you through the process or evaluating your page. We at Foundirectly are here to help you with your pressing short-term rental questions.

Request a Custom SEO Analysis

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